Hideous Ballplayer Week Returns! Let’s kick things off with “Iron” Mike Gallego


To pass a week of time in the dullest and most hideous month of them all, we bring you Hideous Ballplayer Week, a time-honored tradition at Diamond Hoggers. We’ll bring to you your middling player who hung around long outliving his sill set, or something brutal that occurred on the baseball diamond. We’ll pass the time swapping stories of yesteryear, sitting around the fire talking about the players we’ve seen that made us want to gouge our eyes out with their mediocrity. Today, we welcome Mike Gallego to the club.

Why he’s here: Garden-variety, slap-hitting middle infielder who hit a career .239 in parts of 13 dispersed seasons with four teams, three of which were managed by Tony LaRussa. Basically Gallego owes LaRussa his soul for saving him from being a high-school guidance counselor. Career .328 slugging percentage. Was known more for his glove then his bat (no shit). Career .183 hitter in the postseason. He had 28 hits without an extra-base hit in 1995, still the post-1912 non-pitcher record (LOL).

Notoriety: Was the last player to wear #2 on the Yankees prior to Derek Jeter taking the number for good. Jeter’s slugging percentage in comparison is .446 lifetime. Was a mainstay of those great 90’s A’s teams with McGwire, Canseco, and Dave Stewart. Was paid a nominal fee to walk Carney Lansford’s set of Chihuahua’s and lost them at the beach when overpowered by them. Once competed in a home run hitting contest vs. Ozzie Smith in which a ‘home run’ was counted if a ball left the infield on the fly. Smith won the contest 1-0. Current third base coach for Oakland.

Best Pitcher he ever homered off of: Really tough to say. We’ll go with ’92 Mike Mussina. Rumor has it shortly afterwards Mussina began taking a sleep-aid to get past the tossing and turning after allowing a home run to Iron Mike. He also logged four home runs off Chuck Finley, and two off Frank Viola. The fact that over 10% of his career homers came off Finley proves just how shitty Chuck Finley could be at times.

Dustin Pedroia, on being compared to Mike Gallego in college:

I’ve been trying to figure it out and I can’t. Mike Gallego is a good friend of mine and I used to tell him that he reminded me of Gags. That used to piss Pedroia off. He would say ‘Mike [expletive] Gallego, are you [expletive] me?’ and he would say that all the way back when he was a freshman. Can you imagine a freshman in college baseball reacting like that when you’re comparing him to a Major Leaguer…but that’s exactly the way Pedro is.

What the Hell?: Logged one single inning as a right fielder. Caught the only ball that was hit to him, meaning he was a career 1.000 right fielder. This was similar to LaRussa’s fetish of putting Willie McGee at first base just because he could. Why did LaRussa do shit like this?

Notable Teammates: Jimmy Key, Mike Morgan, Rickey Henderson, Don Sutton, Wade Boggs, Reggie Jackson, Dennis Eckersley, Ozzie Smith, Delino Deshields, Danny Tartabull, Ruben Sierra and of course Canseco and McGwire.